[ubuntu-studio-users] Dual System-Startup-Beginner

Dave at Dalek Zone dave at dalek.zone
Fri Jun 19 06:55:14 UTC 2020

Hi Andy,

At boot time, when you hit a black screen with the command prompt, it 
means Linux couldn't find a bootable disk. I'm not an expert at all, but 
I'm guessing it's because you're trying to use the USB hard disk and, at 
that stage of the boot process, it isn't yet mounted maybe. Or it is 
mounted, but is not formatted as a bootable medium.

Maybe someone with deeper knowledge than me might join the thread.

This is the Ubuntu Studio mailing list, and you might do better to try 
the general Ubuntu users list, where there will be more readers.

Often, another faster way to get help is to join one of the Ubuntu IRC 
channels on freenode.net, or one of the Ubuntu-related Matrix channels 
on riot.im. There, you can get "real-time' help (if you have a second 
computer so that you can still be online while doing the actual 

I'm not familiar with Mac, so I'm not sure why the Ubuntu installer 
failed to see your Mac OS on the internal disk. I know it does with 
Windows, for instance.

The best advice I can offer is to renounce the idea of using the WD USB 
disk and, instead, use that disk to back up all your data from your Mac 

Then one way forward might be to delete the Mac OS, install Ubuntu 
(leaving, for instance, half the disk space free), and then re-install 
the Mac OS afterwards... But this is just a suggestion to consider...

When setting up a Windows/Ubuntu dual-boot system, the trick is to 
install Windows first, and then install Ubuntu AFTERWARDS (which is the 
opposite of what I just suggested...) That way, Windows installs, 
thinking it has the whole system to itself. Then Ubuntu installs 
afterwards but sees your existing Windows system, and sets up a 
boot-time menu that gives you the choice of which OS to boot.

I would have thought that it would be the same procedure with a Mac, but 
you say Ubuntu wanted to simply use the entire disk... Did you just 
leave free space or your disk? Or did you actually create an empty 
partition in that space? It might work better if you create the empty 
partition. Then Ubuntu might see it.

Again, I'm not an expert, so maybe someone more knowledgeable may speak 
up. Anyway, hope this helps. :-)

All best wishes,

On 2020-06-19 09:14, András wrote:
> Hi, Dave & Erich,
> thanks for trying to help! The issues you mention I shall probably
> encounter in a next step when I can bring my installed Ubuntu system
> to boot. For now, it won't start on the second intent after the
> initial installation which went fine. Now, when choosing the Ubuntu
> disk as a startup I get a black screen with some text and a prompt to
> type something. This looks like to me like a Console for which to
> react I ought to enter a command but I don’t know what. In short: I
> can’t boot my installed system at all whether fast or slow.
> By the way when installing it I also thought that the Mac’s internal
> HD would be more convenient so I made a 70 GB partition there. I had
> the intention to install Ubuntu onto this partition. But when given
> the choice of where to make the installation, this partition was not
> recognised. In stead I was given the option of using the whole 500 GB
> HD for the installation and before that all the presently existing
> data on it would be wiped clean. I can’t afford to lose that so I had
> to back out of the installation process and finally only an external
> HD formatted in MS-DOS was recognised and offered as a site for
> installation.
> Of course, I know that an SSD drive (internal or external) would be
> speedier than a USB HD. But for now I am trying to get by with what I
> have. After all, I am starting to get to know Ubuntu and before
> deciding to use it permanently I don’t want to make new investments in
> gear.
> So, for now, I am still waiting on help to boot the installed Ubuntu
> system. Thanks!
> Andy
>> On 2020. Jun 18., at 19:40, Dave at Dalek Zone <dave at dalek.zone> 
>> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I've no experience with Linux on Mac, but - as a general rule - I'd 
>> advise against trying to install the standard desktop Ubuntu on an 
>> external USB hard disk. It's likely to be too slow and you'll probably 
>> have performance issues. Either you should take the trouble to resize 
>> the partitioning of your internal HD with the Mac OS and then install 
>> Ubuntu alongside it. Or else you could consider making a live USB of 
>> Linux with persistent storage. That latter solution is designed and 
>> optimized to run on a USB stick and works pretty well.
>> I can't say why your current Linux on the external drive is not 
>> working. Maybe someone else is more knowledgeable.
>> ---
>> All best wishes,
>> Dave
>> On 2020-06-18 11:45, András wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I am a Mac user for a few decades now and I am looking for ways to
>>> escape from that system. On a friend’s recommendation I am now
>>> investigating Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS.
>>> I am a complete beginner in Ubuntu, so my idea is to set up an Ubuntu
>>> system on a separate media but for now continue to use Apple’s High
>>> Sierra (OS 10.13.6) the last compatible OS with my Mac Mini Mid 2011.
>>> I have found an article on the web about installing dual systems on
>>> the Mac which I tried to follow. The media which I chose for keeping
>>> the Ubuntu system is a WD 2 TB external HD USB. For starting I used a
>>> 32 GB USB Stick.
>>> To get the downloaded iso file onto the Stick I had to burn it with
>>> BalenaEtcher. It then started up fine form the Stick. When I had a
>>> choice to install Ubuntu permanently I chose the 2 TB HD and finished
>>> the installation there. After playing around and discovering the way
>>> Ubuntu works I switched back to Mac OS.
>>> When I wanted to start Ubuntu again the next day from the 2 TB HD, it
>>> wouldn’t go beyond an initial black screen with text, awaiting some
>>> command. I never got as far as the Ubuntu logo.
>>> What am I doing wrong or not doing that impedes the start up of the
>>> installed system from the HD?
>>> I’d very much appreciate your help. After the initial joy about the
>>> new system it’s now total frustration. By the way, I am not a
>>> programmer or computer geek, as you may have noticed, so I’d
>>> appreciate some idiot-proof advice. Thanks!
>>> Regards
>>> Andy
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